Editorial Note

Morrison’s message was the subject of a brief Department of State-Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting on October 15 which revolved around determining the proper response by the United States Government to the Egyptian abrogation of the 1936 and 1899 treaties. No firm agreements were reached because it was realized that Secretary Acheson and the President would first have to discuss a proper reply to Morrison. However, the possibly harmful repercussions in the Near East to a firm United States condemnation of Egypt were discussed with particular stress on the possible danger to United States relations with Saudi Arabia which was considered a firm friend of Egypt. Nitze closed the meeting “by saying that backing up the British in Egypt may not be the best course of action, but in the absence of anyone else willing to expend their resources and assume responsibility there, he felt that backing the British was the inevitable answer”. Egypt was the subject of further brief discussion with respect to a possible Middle East Command at the Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting on October 26. (State–JCS Meetings: Lot 61 D 417)